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Die große Costa-Rica Expedition

Date: 20th-24th January 2023
Expedition group: Anna, Nate, Peer, Leni, Sophia, Philip, Matti, Benno, Simon
Positions: Don Elí Coffee Farm, San José, Cahuita, Puerto Viejo, One World Farm
Ship: Pelican of London

It’s a new morning on Carlos Coffee Farm and for us the start of our since Lisbon planned expeditions. After a great breakfast with pancakes and oats, we packed our backpacks, took down our tents and say goodbye to the other expedition groups.

At 10:00 we left Don Eli with a bus that the Regina Maris people booked for most of their groups and in which we luckily also got a spot. So we had a bit more time to say goodbye to our friends from the Reggie, as we won’t meet again on our journey if everything goes right and our ship doesn’t fall apart. In San José we had a haunting 1.5 kilometres walk with our bags until we reached our really nice hostel with wifi, a restaurant, a pool and lots of place to chill. We checked in, got our bags in our rooms and had our first group meeting about group decisions and how we should proceed with the money. 

We made our first calculations about how much we could spend and then went out for lunch with that money. We looked for places that looked good and weren’t very expensive. After half an hour walk we found a good looking place that didn’t cost a lot. The food was really good and everybody was happy after that. The rest of the day we spent strolling around San José and looking at cool places. Philip and me (Nate) could spot 12 McDonalds, three Taco Bell and two Burger King fast food restaurants really close next to each other. It’s crazy how many there are in a small part of the big town. 

21st January

The next day started with a little adventure: Finding a bus that would take us all to Cahuita, a seaside town on the Atlantic coast, right next to Cahuita National Park. Two hours of walking all over San José and Anna, Benno, Leni and Sophia finally came back to a delicious breakfast with french toast, cereal, yoghurt and fruit. After that we had to get ready for our second exciting day alone in Costa Rica. Packing bags was finished pretty quickly, since we had a bus to catch. We spent five hours time in that bus, which was more comfortable than we’d anticipated, not to mention our laughing when Matti started eating his melted chocolate with his toothbrush. 

Having finally arrived in Cahuita as it was starting to get dark, we had our next challenge: Finding the hostel we’d booked, since it didn’t actually say anywhere where exactly it was located. After asking a few local people, but not really getting any further, we dropped off our bags with Benno  and split into two groups to work more efficiently. We did find the hostel, but it was decided we didn’t like it, since it seemed rather unhygienic and they’d only expected five people to come, but there were nine of us. In the end, after a lot of discussing and looking for other places to stay, we spent the night at a hotel with restaurant near by far out of our budget, all of us in a room for six people, with three mattresses on the floor. Sadly, it was already too late and we had already given him our money and we payed the full price out of our budget. But the owner gave us a big discount in his restaurant and we ate for only 3$ per person and three big plates of food. It was definitely an experience that all of us will remember for a long time, especially the moment when Benno had to lift Matti over the bathroom door, since it was locked even though nobody was inside. 

22nd January

After our relaxing night, in the morning we decided to find a new place to stay for the  second day in Cahuita. We split our group, the first group would try to find accommodation. And the second group would get us breakfast. 

After a long walk around Cahuita the second group got a fantastic camping place named Camping Maria. It was desolate breathtakingly beautiful area right next to the Atlantic. With a kitchen, lots of space, greenery and a fantastic beach nearby. And definitely not to forget is the sweetest granny Maria who owned the camping place and her dog Manchas. I think she was very amused that so many young people were visiting her amazing place. 

We met all together at our hostel and we enjoyed our gigantic breakfast with cereals and a bunch of locals fruits like pineapples, bananas and papaya. The pineapple (piña) was very delicious and juicy and I don’t think i will get such good pineapples at home. After we arrived with all our backpacks at Camping Maria we set up our tents. Simon, Sophia, Philip, Benno and Peer went to the national park Cahuita. We were not allowed to take single use plastic with us inside and a ranger searched our backpacks, but finally we were inside in the national park Cahuita, right in the jungle. We followed a path and finally we saw our first animal in free range – a raccoon (german: “Waschbär”). We also saw many more animals and we were very impressed. We saw one Iguana (leguane) far up in the tree, monkeys searching for the next banana, butterflies flying around and also some sweet sloths hanging in the trees. We’ve taken a lot of photos of the national park and we really enjoyed the time there. Sadly, the national park closes early and we were supposed to leave the park, so we didn’t see everything.

When we came back we were really surprised. The others bought a lot of materials for dinner! Pasta with sauce and a really sweet desert. We all were really exhausted from the day so the dinner was the perfect surprise and we really enjoyed it. 

23rd January 

Early on Monday morning we left the campsite to walk with our bags to the bus terminal. We were all completely exhausted after walking with our ridiculously heavy bags, but fortunately, an amazing surprise awaited us at the bus terminal. Britta’s group had just disembarked their bus when we arrived. It was amazing to see them and there was lots of laughter, hugs and stories.

When we arrived in Puerto Viejo, we had to find a taxi to transport us to our next accommodation. There we moved in and talked about what we want to eat and what we need to buy for cooking in the evening. We nominated two teams: One for dinner and one for breakfast which were responsible for making the food. After a nice lunch we went to the supermarket and bought lots of nice things for our “Gourmet-Dinner”. We made scrambled eggs, boiled potatoes, meat, vegetables and salad for dinner. While we were eating we noticed that we hadn’t bought salt but we had bought baking powder!!! It was a big laugh for everybody. Happily baking powder is one of the less dangerous white powders… After eating we had a group meeting and planned the next day with breakfast, lunch daily report and how we want to get to the Planet One World Farm. Afterwards most of us went to bed because it was already late and such an expedition makes you very tired.

24rd January 

It’s the last day of our expedition and thanks to the breakfast team we had a fantastic morning. They stood up a bit earlier and the others woke up from the delicious smell of Pancakes and French Toast. Additionally they made fruits and smoothie and we had some salad leftover from the last evening. We all enjoyed our yummy, relaxed breakfast. After eating we packed our stuff and split up in groups to be more effective. A group of three people (Matti, Leni, Phillip) walked to the town to organise a taxi that comes at 13:00 to bring us to Ken’s farm. After they had a deal with one of the drivers they quickly visited the supermarket because all of the girls in the group are running out of shampoo and some others needed a drink. Finally they finished their mission with getting some Pizza for the group and coming back with a taxi. During that time the others in the apartment washed the dishes from the breakfast, cleaned the house and brought all the luggage outside. At 11:00 the Wi-Fi turned off, so they had to fix this little problem. After the Pizza group was back we had lunch, everyone got himself ready to go and finally the taxi and with it the end of our expedition arrived. During all the day someone always wrote at this report, so it is a really good group work. In conclusion the expedition was a great experience with many ups and downs. We all grew with every problem we had to solve and we learned a lot about ourself and how we work as a team. 

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